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Everything We Know So Far About Valve’s Steam Deck - go!

Everything We Know So Far About Valve’s Steam Deck

Get to know this all-new state-of-the-art console

Now that millions are confined in the safety of their homes, many have turned to gaming to keep themselves entertained. The growing demand for games has incentivized developers to introduce new titles and state-of-the-art consoles. Apart from these, gaming fans will be given quite a treat with the arrival of Valve’s Steam Deck.

Set for release in December this year, this handheld console is expected to change the face of gaming. To get up to speed with Valve’s latest innovation, this guide will tell you all the things you should expect

What is the Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck is a portable gaming console that lets players access their Steam library in a handheld gadget. The device has a 7-inch touchscreen with 1280x800 resolution that can run games at 720p.

It has the ubiquitous two thumbsticks, D-pads and ABXY buttons control layout that is familiar to most gamers. Additional buttons at the shoulders and back of the console and two trackpads below the thumbsticks help with more accurate aiming for first-person shooters.

Judging by its specs, the Steam Deck may not disappoint in the processing department, as it is equipped with an AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU plus 16GB of RAM. Its entry-level version has a storage space of 64GB, while the top-spec one comes with 512GB of SSD.

Its 40-watt-hour battery is no slouch either. You can play light games for 7–8 hours or 2–6 hours of graphic-intensive games on a fully charged battery. Coming in at a suggested retail price of $399 (approximately ₱20,000) for the entry version, $529 (approximately ₱26,000) for the mid-spec and $649 (approximately ₱32,000)  for the top-of-the-line model, the Steam Deck packs a punch for its price.

When will it be (and will it be) available in the Philippines?

The Steam Deck is slated to start shipping by December 2021 and has been available for pre-order since July 2021 in select regions. Unfortunately, the Philippines is not included in the initially selected regions as of writing, so Pinoy gamers should be on the lookout for Valve’s further announcement.

What games are available on the Steam Deck?

You can access most of the games in your Steam account using the Steam Deck. Moreover, the device runs on SteamOS 3.0 with Proton, making it possible for PC games to be compatible with the Steam Deck without additional coding work needed from developers.

Since the Steam Deck is practically a handheld PC, you can install third-party apps, games and even plug in gaming accessories as you would with any other computer. With that said, the number of games you can play on the Steam Deck is nearly limitless.

Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch

Since Valve is new in the handheld console scene, Steam Deck is often pitted against the current king of portable consoles, the Nintendo Switch.

Coming at $299 (approximately ₱15,000), the Nintendo Switch is the more affordable choice. However, it has a less powerful processing power than the Steam Deck, making current generation AAA games a challenge to run on the Switch. All of that power comes at the cost of battery life, as the Switch’s battery life is longer at four and a half to nine hours compared to the Steam Deck’s two to eight.

Another point of contention is the availability of game options. As stated earlier, the Steam Deck has nearly unparalleled options as its Linux-based SteamOS gives it access to any games on the PC. In contrast, the Nintendo Switch has a closed operating system, so it can only run Nintendo’s library of games and those available on the eShop.

Will the Steam Deck be a good purchase for me?

When the Steam Deck was first announced, most people in the industry touted it as the Nintendo Switch killer. However, it seems that they serve two completely different target markets—even Valve doesn’t think the Switch is their console’s main competitor.

So, what audience is Valve targeting for the Steam Deck? The console is definitely geared towards dedicated PC gamers who want to play on the go and pick up where they left on the PC once they are home. Also, considering the skyrocketing GPU prices recently, the Steam Deck can serve as a decent entry-level PC—albeit handheld—for new gamers who want to play games on a budget.

All things considered, your satisfaction will be determined by your preferences. If you’re looking for light games that you can play casually, the Nintendo Switch is already a great purchase, but if you want a challenge or wish to play something more competitive, the Steam Deck should be your choice. 

Get your game on!

With its powerful processing and potentially unparalleled game compatibility, expect the Steam Deck to be quite a fearsome contender in the handheld gaming scene. However, ardent gamers in the Philippines will need to wait longer for Valve’s announcement about its availability

When the Steam Deck does become available here, make sure to partner it with a reliable connection. Power your gaming sessions and conquer vast digital worlds with your friends with our Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi devices.

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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